XML Compare 14.0 makes HTML table comparison effortless

DeltaXML are excited to announce the launch of Version 14 of XML Compare. Following on from our improvements to CALS table handling, we have now rolled out table comparison improvements to include HTML tables as well. This new version features a major update to the way HTML tables are handled when comparing tables and reporting differences. There are also a few new capabilities to ensure you get the best results when processing tables, so be sure to check these out.

Comparing xHTML tables has never been easier

A trade-off exists between capturing structural changes and displaying content changes logically when comparing XML tables. With XML Compare 14.0.0, we provide an improved way to compare HTML tables by showing content changes in as much detail as possible. In most cases, table results are now displayed at the cell level, creating a more intuitive experience for users used to seeing multiple row and column duplications.

Changes to spans

In the past, row duplication often occurred when table changes included modifications to spans, but now the results are much easier to see and understand when reviewed. The following examples demonstrate how the table results look when row and column spans are modified.

Old Result

New Result

Finer-grained Results

In some cases, the old algorithm duplicated the entire table to display changes. With our fresh approach, we deliver a more detailed result for cells and rows so that we can understand the changes that matter. In most cases, that ‘fallback’ position is no longer used, and we get a significant result that is easy to read. We have also fixed the HTML table result when some rows had fewer cells than the table had columns.

Old Result

New Result

Column Alignment

In tables, moving, adding, or deleting columns is one of the most complicated aspects to understand and represent. The revised result makes more sense and is immediately apparent to the viewer.

Old Result

New Result

XML Compare 14 introduces exciting new HTML table capabilities

Ordered and ‘orderless’ columns

As columns are now handled more intuitively, it is now possible to change the way we compare them. By default, column order is significant, which means that if column order changes, we will flag the result (as in the example below). The comparison will align them differently in the result, however, if column order does not matter, simply configure it to ignore it.

Input A

Input B

Ordered Result

Unordered Result

Column keying

If you do not care about the order of columns, you may prefer to control how columns are aligned. By default, we align columns based on their content. However, it is possible to set up column ‘keys’ to control how they align. There are two keying modes available:

AUTO – the content of each column is used to find the best alignment

POSITION – columns are aligned purely by position, i.e., column 1 in A aligns with column 1 in B, etc.

You can also manually add custom keys to each column by adding processing instructions to the table. See the user documentation for more information.

Download your update today or get a free evaluation trial!

These xHTML table enhancements will roll out to our other products shortly, including DITA and DocBook, so subscribe now for the latest updates. We are always keen to hear your feedback, so update your XML Compare today simply by downloading from MyDelta. If you are new to DeltaXML, create your MyDelta account and start a 14 day free trial.

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